State recognizes Angels of 2019
South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond recently announced the Angels of 2019. Ten Angels, as well as one Honorary Angel, were recognized recently at a press conference and honored with a reception in the Secretary of State’s office in Columbia.
The “Angels” represent organizations that exemplify charitable giving in South Carolina. Representatives from all organizations were in attendance to receive a plaque and recognition. The groups recognized, with the percentage of their expenditures that went toward their program services, are listed below in alphabetical order.
• Big Red Barn Retreat, Blythewood, SC - 94.2%
• Boys Farm, Inc., Newberry, SC - 81.1%
• Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity, Columbia, SC - 93.3%
• Free Medical Clinic of Aiken County, Aiken, SC - 89.9%
• Hopeful Horizons, Inc., Beaufort, SC - 86.8%
• Lighthouse Ministries, Florence, SC, Florence, SC - 84.2%
• Meet the Needs Charleston, Mount Pleasant, SC - 98.0%
• Neighbor to Neighbor of South Carolina Inc., Myrtle Beach, SC - 86.8%
• Oconee County Humane Society, Inc., Salem, SC - 96.3%
• Sustaining Way, Greenville, SC - 98.5%
The organizations were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as by nominations from the public. To be selected as an Angel, the charity must have devoted 80 percent or more of its total expenditures to charitable programs; the charity must have been in existence for three or more years; the charity must make good use of volunteer services; the charity must receive minimal funding from grants; and the charity must be in compliance with the South Carolina Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act. Each year the Secretary of State’s Office attempts to showcase Angels with diverse missions from several areas around the state.
Traditionally, charities have been eligible to be named as an Angel only once in order to recognize as many deserving organizations as possible. In 2017, Hammond began the tradition of recognizing a past group that has continued to devote a high percentage of its expenditures to its charitable mission. This year, Water Missions International of North Charleston, SC, was designated as the Honorary Angel for its continued service in building safe water, sanitation and hygiene solutions in developing countries and disaster areas. Water Missions International was originally recognized as an Angel in 2006, and its program service percentage for 2018 was 88.1%.
Also at the event recognizing 2019 Angels, Secretary Hammond released the 2018-2019 Wise Giving and Professional Solicitor Report. The report not only provides wise giving tips for donors, but also lists all professional solicitor contracts currently on file with the Secretary of State’s Office. The report also lists the percentages that were remitted to charities by professional solicitors based on joint financial reports filed in 2018.
“Although many good charities use professional fundraisers, we have seen over the years that most ‘Scrooge’ organizations have high fundraiser costs,” said Secretary Hammond. “For example, Cancer Survivors’ Fund was named a Scrooge in 2011. For the most recent fiscal year, this organization spent only 8% on its program expenses. The joint financial reports filed with our office in 2018 show that their professional solicitors kept $.88 cents of every dollar raised. That is why it is so important that donors educate themselves and ask questions before giving away their hard-earned money. It is our hope that the Wise Giving and Professional Solicitor Report will give charitable donors the tools they need not only to give from the heart, but to also give smart.”
Donors may research charities registered in South Carolina by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.sc.gov. To review a charitable organization, select the Charity Search button to learn a charity’s total revenue, program expenses, total expenses, net assets, and fundraiser costs. The website even calculates the percentage of total expenses that the charity has devoted to its program services. For more information, call the Division of Public Charities at 1-888-CHARITY (242-7484).